Hot Sheet

ALEC will reel in the political right at its annual meeting in Denver

Author: Dan Njegomir - July 6, 2017 - Updated: July 6, 2017

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Image via alec.org

Lawmakers who lean right — and hope to reinvent government accordingly — have had a friend named ALEC for 44 years. The conservative, pro-free market American Legislative Exchange Council has been an advocate of limited government and a resource for model legislation to generations of (mostly Republican) state legislators in Colorado and across the country.

In ALEC’s own words, it “… facilitates interaction between public and private sector leaders, think tanks and citizen groups through meetings and model policy development.”

This year, Denver hosts the organization’s annual, national meeting, and the lineup of featured political and business celebs who will address the gathering won’t disappoint those who attend. Says an ALEC press statement announcing the July 19-21 event at the Hyatt Regency Denver:

Members will have the opportunity to attend workshops, plenary sessions and task force meetings and hear from notable speakers, including the Honorable Jim DeMint, Newt Gingrich, Mr. Steve Forbes, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Mr. Pete Coors, Mr. Guy Benson and Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin.

Liberal critics and some mainstream media long have been critical of ALEC, citing its close ties to business and accusing it of doing the business world’s bidding in America’s statehouses. There’s even an “ALEC Exposed” website set up by the left-leaning Center For Media and Democracy.

ALEC’s own take on itself and its role in American politics is, of course, substantially different. From the press release:

“ALEC brings together the best and brightest minds in policy to learn from one another,” said ALEC CEO Lisa B. Nelson. “For 44 years, our annual meeting has been a place where legislators, business owners and hardworking, everyday Americans can come together in one place and offer their suggestions insights on what is happening on the ground in the states. After all, that’s where we see the most impactful change.”

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is the opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.